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This, I think, is the solution of the difficulty, and though it is certainly only an evasion, because its supposition creates greater difficulties than the former one, it still gives evidence of a spirit of enquiry in the school.
In comparing the psychological theory of the Nyáya with more modern doctrines (with the exception of the latest period) we must admit, that in a metaphysical point of view there is no great difference between them. The same objections are to be made to either. The doctrine of faculties being involved in the same contradictions as that of qualities. In either case, if you are to explain, what the soul is, you have to state, what it is, independent of its qualities or faculties, and also to enumerate the latter. Your explanation will thus point out a quale, which is not a unity, but something defined by a variety of notions. This, however, is not the place to discuss the matter and we wished only to show, that modern philosophy in this respect cannot boast to have advanced one single step beyond that of the Hindus, that is to say, in the metaphysic of the soul, although it would be absurd to deny, that modern psychology, as to the observation of psychical phenomena, has made rapid strides, towards perfection.
In passing over to the strictly logical enquiries of the Nyáya, we have to premise, that we cannot view them with the same satisfaction, and although we make ample allowance for the different forms of language, in which they were explained, we are compelled to confess, that they are neither exact nor complete.
The Nyáya has treated the logical topics in the inverse order of that adopted by us, viz. first inference, then ideas, and lastly propositions. This order is followed, not in consequence of a different method of arrangement, but in consequence of the subjects being based upon different grounds, and flowing from different sources. Logic might undoubtedly be treated analytically and commence with the exposition of syllogistical forms. Considering argument as a fact, we might analyse various arguments, and proceeding to their elements, that is to propositions, gradually arrive at ideas or notions. But the Nyáya, far from following such an analytical course, holds inference to be a quality, different from the quality of forming names and notions, and discusses inference before verbal knowledge, evidently with the purpose of showing, that the latter in some way depends upon the former.
We, however, treat these doctrines in their common order, with no other intention than to make ourselves better understood.
Verbal knowledge is one of the divisions of intellect. The first act or the first condition of understanding words, is the forming of the name! A name is corresponding to a certain object, and this object is connected with the name by the power of the name. A name which has such a power, is a word. The clear and distinct knowledge of what is implied in a word, is produced by a third act, and is the meaning of a word. This latter is in fact identical with idea or notion, as is evident from the examples given, as for instance, a tree is a thing which has root, stem, branches, leaves, etc.
Here again is the order perverted, the name is certainly not, the first operation, and the object to be named, the second, but just the reverse. There must be objects to be named, and though we may admit, that the clear idea of a subject often succeeds a name, still the object, of which the notion is formed, is the first, and we must assert, that what precedes the notion, also precedes the name.
The enquiry, how ideas are formed from a variety of like objects, belongs to psychology, and however interesting this question otherwise may be, logic has nothing to do with the psychical process, by which ideas are produced. If this were the case, we might still have to wait for a logic, as a psychological theory has not yet been established to general satisfaction, while logic as a science has been completed for more than two thousand years.
By considering the names and afterwards the corresponding notions, the real character of a notion has been at least obscured. From the given examples we see, that a notion, instead of being defined by the genus, under which it is contained, and the specific difference, is explained by a genus, which is distant from it by a number of intervening notions (for instance, genus of tree=thing) and by a specific difference, which besides its own difference, enumerates properties which it partakes with others (for instance root, stem, leaves, etc.=specific difference.)
The meaning of a word or idea, ought to have been considered in its connexion with other ideas, as made up by genus and differentia specifica, the co-ordination and subordination of ideas, as their compatible, contrary, and contradictory opposition. Here, however, are genus and species raised to categories under the names of generality and particularity,
being there the common properties of substances, qualities, and acts while the opposition of ideas is treated in the seventh category, viz. that of negation. There are notions, which, according to our view, in contrary opposition, placed under the head of absolute negation and notions, according to us in contradictory opposition, in mutual negation.
From this arrangement then did not only result an imperfect exposition of the logical relations among ideas, but an important metaphysical error, by which logical relations of ideas are considered as real properties of substances.
In finding the logical treatment of notions by no means satisfactory, we may at the same time observe, that there are many valuable remarks about some psychological and grammatical relations of ideas which we do not recollect to have found elsewhere. These we have given in a note to the text, where this subject is explained.
A proposition to convey a distinct meaning, must, according to the Nyáya, have four qualities :
1. Contiguity, which, according to some, is the uninterrupted succession of the words pronounced in a sentence, so that for instance, the first word of it be not pronounced in the present moment, and the next half an hour afterwards, according to others, the arrangement of the words according to their grammatical connexion, for instance, that a preposition be placed together with the word which depends upon it, and not with a word, to which it does not refer.
2. Consistency, or the mutual agreement of the words, according to their sense, so that contradictory terms be not connected.
3. Structure, or the grammatical (terminations) forms of the words, which correspond in their meanings (for instance, that the verb agrees with the subject in number and person.)
4. Intention, that is, the meaning which the speaker wishes to convey by a sentence.
There again the logical characteristics of a proposition have been omitted, as all those points, with the exception perhaps of consistency, belong to the grammatical structure of a sentence.
The logical explanation of propositions, as a matter of course, passes over any grammatical form a proposition may assume; it treats only
of the relation between two ideas, and its simple question is, whether two ideas can be connected or not.
It is evident, that in this way neither quantity, nor modality of propositions could have been discovered. We might, however, dispense with them, as these forms are not strictly logical ; but not even the division of propositions according to their quality has been made by the Nyaya.
The theory of ideas and propositions is the weakest point in the logic of the Nyáya; they are more successful in explaining the form of arguments; for though the theory of syllogism is far from exact and complete, we must admit, that they understood the general character of a syllogism.
Góutama, the founder of the Nyáya, thought, that a complete syllogism ought to contain five members (propositions); viz. I, the proposition, (that is, what is to be proved by the argument;) 2, the reason or argument; 3, the instance ; 4, the application ; 5, the conclusion, for example
This hill is fiery
For it smokes.
This hill smokes
Therefore it is fiery. We need not expatiate on the five members, although it may indeed create some surprise, that philosophers, who gave an analysis of syllogism, should not have immediately observed the superfluity of two of these members; in more modern times the syllogism was reduced to four members (by others to three), of which we now give a description.
The first act is the statement of a fact (or proposition minor). For instance : this hill smokes. With the idea of smoke is associated the idea of fire, as we know from a former observation, that smoke is connected with fire, as for instance, fire on a hearth. Smoke is therefore the argument, and has the predicate, that fire is to be inferred from it under similar circumstances, as those which were observed concerning the fire on a hearth. The second step therefore is, that the argument (smoke) recalls its connection in a former time with another idea. This second act is called consideration, or to give it in a sentence,
Where there is smoke, there is fire, as for instance, on a hearth.
The third step is, that such a smoke from which fire is inferrible, is on the hill: and the fourth step, the actual connexion of the fire with the hill, that is, the hill is fiery.
The error in this exposition is the confounding logical correctness with truth. The Nyaya perceived very well, that the terminus medius by its being separatedly connected with two other ideas or denied of one, connected or separated these two ideas,—which is the real operation in arguing; but at the same time they wanted to guard against false premises or a false conclusion, and for this purpose they required a consideration, which was to establish the truth of the preposition major by a reference to an instance, in which the truth of this premise was exemplified. Their investigation was therefore not only directed to the logical operation of arguing, but also to the truth, which may result from it, and both the truth of the conclusion, and the correctness of the argu. ment, should be the result of one and the same operation, which of course is impossible. We would not so much object to this process on the ground, that it is tedious, and useless, as regards the syllogism itself (for it may be good to draw the attention of the beginner not only to the special connexion of the ideas in the syllogistical form, but also to the truth of the premises) but on the ground, that it is considered only valid by giving an instance. Hence arguing is not allowed, where no instance can be given, by which not only an undue restriction takes place, but also, in some cases at least, four ideas are introduced.
Another error is, that by inference not only a new connexion of ideas is to be given, but also a new association of an object, which is perceived, with something, that is not perceived, as for instance smoke, which is perceived, with fire, which is not perceived. Here then, it appears, is inference limited to objects, at present in our perception. Though this is denied in the later expositions of the Nyáya, and is expressly stated as an error of the earlier philosophers of the school, still perception is not omitted as a necessary condition of inference, which must of course confine syllogisms to a much narrower circle than is according to their nature.
The third error, which has a close communion with the first, is the confounding of the logical relation between argument and conclusion, with the relation between cause and effect. All the examples given to illustrate syllogisms, do not represent a connexion between ideas, in